Friday, August 21, 2015

A movie and a coaching webinar

Two things I did this week:

Jane and I saw the movie Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation Wednesday night. We hadn't been to a theater in some time, and just felt like doing something different. I have liked the MI movies - I'm kind of an "action movie" guy. This one didn't suck, but it wasn't as good as the previous ones in my opinion. It helped that a friend was working the counter and we got in free though. And, I kind of forgot until now, for a new movie, there was just us and one other couple in the theater for a 7:20 pm movie. Hmm...

On Thursday I watched another Coach Approach Ministries free webinar while I was at work. I only had a couple phone calls during the hour-long event, so I was happy about that. This one was called "This Is Your Brain On God." It was about how coaching, brain science, and faith development overlap. It was taught by Chad Hall, Jane Creswell, and Brian Miller. I thought it was pretty good. And this was the first one where I was able to see a video of the presenters, as well as their slides.

One thing I thought interesting was the discussion on neurotransmitters in the brain. There are these things called oxytocin and cortisol, and they sort of need to "talk" to one another to transmit things in our brain. We want a higher level of oxytocin, because (I think) these send the transmissions, so the more we have, the better. The more safe and secure we feel, the more we are encouraged, the more oxytocin works to send signals. Cortisol, on the other hand, receives the signals. However, the more we have of it, the more it BLOCKS the signals. So we want less cortisol. The higher the stress level we have, the more cortisol we have, and the less open we are to hearing and learning. So... I took the point to be - For good coaching (or learning/discussion/teaching/whatever) we need to do our best to create a positive, encouraging environment between us and the person we're talking to. If people don't feel safe or accepted, they're not going to be open to what you have to say, they're not going to be as likely to "think" freely, and they won't be open in sharing with you. Interestingly enough, when we are encouraging of others, it makes our own brain better too (higher oxytocin; lower cortisol).

Another thing I thought interesting was the idea that our brain processes "test" questions differently than "discovery" questions. If someone is asking you for mere information, your brain is going to work differently than if you are having to put ideas and things together. It can just go get a test question and retrieve it, but a discovery question will require a little more thought. However, through that thinking process, it will access other areas of information, and the linking of these areas together stimulates greater thinking, the culmination of which results in an "aha!" moment. That's like when a bunch of things lined up in your brain and a 'discovery' was made. And this is what coaching sessions are to be about. The coaching session is a discovery process. The coaches role is to get you thinking so you can make discoveries that will help you learn and grow.

Anyway, it was a decent movie, and a very good webinar.